The joys of parenthood. They come in many forms, some more bittersweet than others. One of the greatest achievements you’ll feel as a parent is watching your child start their higher education. This is officially their first step toward adulthood. It’s a path they’ve chosen for themselves, a lifetime they’re shaping through years of study. It can be difficult to let go, though, and it’s natural to worry whether you’ve really done enough to prepare your child to make it in the real world. Check this list of three things every parent should do to prepare their child for college. These three things will help you plan ahead and prepare for the next chapter of your parenthood journey.
Emotionally Prepare Yourself for the Change
Even if they still live at home for a while, having a college student is not the same thing as having a teenager. Some may resort to juvenile behavior if they aren’t given enough freedom while others might go overboard and push every boundary imaginable. If they move away for school, you’ll have to cope with all the natural moments of missing them and wondering if they’re okay.
Don’t put off coping with any anxiety, depression or grief you’re going through. It’s natural as a parent to mourn a separation from your child, be it emotionally or physically. The sooner you accept and confront these feelings, the healthier it will be for everyone involved. At all costs, avoid making your emotions your child’s responsibility. They should be able to celebrate this exciting stage of their life guilt-free. If you’re really struggling, speak to your partner, a trusted friend or family member or a therapist.
Tackle Their Financial Needs
Talk to your child about the importance of a budget, student loans and scholarships. You can be a part of their journey by helping them apply for financial aid, teaching them how student loans work and applying to scholarships together. A scholarship search platform can help you find the best college scholarships for your child and apply in 30 minutes or less. This is the best age for your child to learn about financial responsibility. If you’re helping them pay for school, fill them in on your commitments. They should be actively involved instead of just taking a free ride.
Adopt Your New Role
Just because they’re in college doesn’t mean they don’t need their mom or dad. Entering young adulthood has never been easy, but given the current state of the world, it seems more overwhelming than ever. Students have often been comparing themselves to others for years by now thanks to social media. They’re worried about the evolving workforce, the impact of technology on job prospects, how to have a healthy lifestyle, the high cost of housing and so much more.
You don’t need to let them flounder. Think of yourself as a coach. It’s the athlete’s job to play the game, but they’ll need your guidance and support to pull through. Sometimes, the most valuable thing you’ll be able to do is just listen. Tell them you believe in them, that you’re proud of them and you’re always there when they want your advice.
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